Sunday, February 28, 2021

Cellist Singer/Songwriters- Sometimes, a Cello is Just Plucked

By Andy Fein, Luthier at Fein Violins and Mikaela Marget 

In orchestra settings, cello sections move fluidly between holding down baselines, playing a rich harmony texture, or jumping to the forefront to play an entrancing melody. In folk music, the cello is used as a chordal, melodic, or even rhythmic instrument (ever heard of "the chop"?). 



Ok, so the cello can play many roles in a variety of traditional contexts, but how does it function as a songwriting partner? Turns out there are Singer-songwriters who utilize the cello as a chordal accompaniment instrument. These musicians may convince you that it is time to ditch the guitar for something deeper... 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Why Do Strings Break?

By Andy Fein, Luthier at Fein Violins

and Ivana Truong


Most string players have had the awful experience of getting all set for a lesson, concert, or recital and BAM a string breaks. It seems like the bigger the occasion, the more likelihood of a string breaking.


Why do strings break? What can you do to prevent a string breaking at the WORST POSSIBLE MOMENT?

Violinist Midori Goto, age 14, breaks two strings during her debut performance, 
and didn't even flinch! 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Environmentalism and Violin-making

By Andy Fein Luthier, at Fein Violins & Mikaela Marget

Environmental Sustainability in Violin Making 

Spruce, Maple, Basswood, Ebony, Pernambuco, Tetul, Rosewood, and Boxwood. What are these? All of these are types of wood that are used in your stringed instrument or bow. They are wood from trees that grew for decades or centuries before they were cut down to make your viola, viola, cello, or bow. After being cut down and milled, they are carefully stored to air dry for decades more. 
    
Like trees? Like the environmental benefits of trees? You know stuff like oxygen to breathe, carbon storing to slow climate change, soil to stabilize and nurture, shade to sit under, fruit and nuts to eat, birds and animals that live in the forest, and sap to make into syrup. If you do, be a good steward and know that your instrument comes from the health of forests.

Mata Atlantica, Brazil
A. Fein & Atelier Cremone Seraph Cello













Sunday, September 13, 2020

Bow Bugs- EW!

By Andy Fein, Luthier at Fein Violins,

and Ivana Truong

 If you open up your case and you see this- You Have BOW BUGS



"What??? Bugs are eating my bow?"

No! Just the bow hair. (Fans of Schitts Creek are now hearing Alexis say "EW!")

Monday, July 27, 2020

Tips & Tricks for Surviving the Online Lesson World

By Andy Fein, Luthier at Fein Violins and Mikaela Marget

"A little too sharp... not quite... now it's too flat! Go the other way... Nope, too far..." Bam! Oops. Now you need a new string.  


If you're a student who has recently had to start taking online-lessons, you know this struggle: learning to tune. There can be a bit of a learning curve to this, but don't get discouraged--we are here to help! 

We've made some helpful videos to help you as students (or parents) learn how to tune, change a string, and reset a bridge without teacher help during the times of video lessons. This way, even though you can't see your teacher in-person, you can keep up with the daily maintenance of your instrument.